Poems are lifelines
when you forget how to swim
in your skin
and are like a betta fish
treading water in a tank,
and when you want to forget
how it feels to live without lungs
gasping for air like a hooked trout
on a riverbank.
Poem title from chapter 24 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.
Peace to your ♥!
the white socks
not being beside
in the washing
Poem title from chapter 54 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.
This is not the first time I’ve riffed on William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow.” My thanks to him. Peace to your ♥!
that’s the start
of winter blues:
and all the sky
First day of winter! Peace to your ♥!
Pick up your wand.
Tap your black hat.
Say the magic word.
Pull out a…cat?
Put away the wand.
Get rid of the hat.
The name of your cat.
Poem title from chapter 48 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.
I now have a grandcat, as my two daughters living in Chicago have adopted a black cat they’ve named Bean. 🐈⬛ Peace to your ♥!
May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at the last.
The one-year anniversary of my mom’s death was this past Saturday. The interlude in the poem occurred a few weeks after she died and lasted only briefly, as my dad went downhill pretty quickly after that. The quote above was on a sympathy card I received. Peace to our ♥s!
A feeling from
out of the blue:
Mom did what
was hers to do.
I felt a lovely
as Dad’s needs grew.
This lump of clay on the wheel—
Under the thumb of the potter,
Will it become a vase? A cup?
An answer begins to take shape.
The wheel hums; the potter hums.
Ah…the pleasure of taking pains.
Poem title from chapter 59 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.
“The pleasure of taking pains” is from John Ciardi’s How Does a Poem Mean? and perfectly captures how I feel about writing and revising poems. Peace to your ♥!
There was a poor fellow named Boris
Whose skin was outwardly porous.
When it rained,
He was a swell fellow, that Boris.
The bistro’s dishes were très grandiose
Seen on a flat screen, but up close
They tasted foul
(In French, mal,
And in kid-speak, blech, yuck, and gross).
Peace to your ♥!
Who’s the man
with the unkempt chin
and the gap
where his bridge
should have been and unwashed hair
and everything thin?
From my Afterdeath collection, poems written after my parents’ deaths. Capturing what it was like toward the end with my dad, who declined rapidly. Peace to our ♥s!
1952: Sidney Rosenthal’s Magic Marker appears
2003: Procter and Gamble’s Magic Eraser appears
1975: I scrawl my name
On the kitchen wall of shame
And try out a few
On the guinea pig, too.
Like magic, the markers disappear.
Poem title from chapter 31 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.
Of the 60 poems I wrote for my poemcrazy project, this ranks as one of my favorites. Not a true story–I don’t recall ever writing on the wall, and we had hamsters instead of a guinea pig (the first named Tina, and the second named Tina 2, who turned out to be pregnant when we bought her, so we soon had about 7 or 8 baby hamsters we had to give away). Peace to your ♥!
the language of leaves,
and in autumn
lose their voices
in the sound of the wind.
Their black winter outlines
sketch tall tales to tell
when their leaves
return in the spring
with the robins.
Peace to your ♥!